Bill Atkinson

Bill Atkinson on the birth of the Macintosh computer

Leo LaPorte interviews Bill Atkinson on the 40th anniversary of Apple, Inc. on the birth of the Macintosh computer.

I was a very early Mac user, met Bill Atkinson numerous times in the HyperCard days when I demoed it for Apple, and met various members of the early Mac team after Steve Jobs gave me my first Macintosh in late 1984.

This is great stuff and Atkinson (and Andy Hertzfeld) were pioneers in the history of personal computing. I met Andy when he gave me an early (beta) copy of Switcher at Macworld.

[via The Loop]

HyperCard Snow Crystals

snowcrystalsIn the mid 1980’s I was deeply into a development tool called HyperCard and made hundreds of “stacks” (little applications) which I both sold and gave away.

For those who don’t remember it or never got into it, HyperCard, developed by then Apple Fellow Bill Atkinson was a highly addictive development tool that had a cult following. It was my first experience with application development and I got hooked.

I made so many HyperCard stacks in fact that I lost track of many of them and when HyperCard eventually died and stacks were difficult to keep running on modern hardware and operating systems I moved on.

Recently I heard from someone named Sandra who had one of my old stacks: a collection of scanned black and white images of snow crystals that if memory serves visually morph from one to the next as the stack flips through its cards. Sandra wanted permission to put the stack online and of course I was glad to give it given that I’d forgotten that I’d ever made it. For those who have the means or interest to run it, here it is: Snow Crystals.

Another one of my stacks that got a bit more recognition was The Bee.

Bill Atkinson – Within The Stone

within_the_stoneBill Atkinson released a book of photographs that is outstanding. I’ve followed his career, both at Apple (one of the fathers of the Macintosh, and author of MacPaint, HyperCard, and more) and as a photographer.

This latest work is some of his finest and is near and dear to my heart: in my earlier years as a potter I took numerous geology courses and did quite a bit of film photomicrography. I have no clue where those slide are now but I loved them.

If you buy this book through his web site he will sign if for you and I have to say, the printing and quality of this book is outstanding.